Commercial properties such as office building need to be a safe place for employees and customers. Myriad issues often arise during fire safety inspections in offices. The most common issues include not having enough fire extinguishers for the space, improper installation of safety equipment, out-of-date inspections and repairs not taking place or done incorrectly. Identifying and fixing these problems will ensure the occupants of the office space are safe in case of a fire emergency.
These are aspects that should be regularly attended to:
Regular fire inspections: Many office owners let their fire inspections go past due. Past-due inspections are often caused by the property owner not being on-site and a lack of communication between the owner and tenant. When renting an office space, the owner and tenant must create a plan for annual fire inspections.
A professional inspection of alarms, lights, extinguishers and sprinklers must take place once a year. After the inspection, the property owner will receive a report. This report needs to be kept on file for the fire marshal. Owners are required by law to keep these reports for two years.
Repairs: Having repairs to the fire safety system taken care of as they happen will help a property pass its yearly inspection. Common repairs for office buildings involve clogged sprinkler systems, leaking pipes and unlit exit signs. The property owner should hire a professional immediately for repairs if the fire system is damaged or malfunctions in any way.
Installing the right fire extinguishers: Class A, B and C fire extinguishers must be available in each suite of the office space. These classes of extinguishers can put out small fires involving paper, oils, wood and gases. Extinguishers must be installed 75 feet apart throughout the building, according to OSHA guidelines. Property owners should check the fire extinguishers every six months to make sure they are at the proper weight according to the label on the cannister. If they are low, a professional can help refill or replace them.
Ensuring the office space has the proper equipment, repairs are taking place and annual inspections are being done will keep the tenants and employees safe in case of a fire emergency.
Steve Lockwood is owner of Mountain State Fire Protection LLC which specializes in premier fire equipment and comprehensive fire protection services.